Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Book of Love

The book of love has music in it, in fact that's where music comes from. Some of it is just transcendental and some of it is just really dumb. But I love it when you sing to me and you can sing me anything. The book of love is really boring and it was written very long ago. It's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes and things we're all too young to know. But I love it when you read to me, you can read me anything. - Peter Gabriel

It's that time again for heart shaped boxes and little chocolates in a row. And in our pursuit for all this romantic and touching I think we tend to overlook the love that is so close to us - the love of our family, the love of our friends, even the love of strangers.

Recently, I had another experience with an ebayer I didn't appreciate. And in trying to figure out a new direction for my business, when stepping into the uncomfortable, I had a total stranger reach out to me. She had just received one of my bracelets and called to see if I was alright. I can't begin to tell you how touching I find it when a stranger reaches out to me. My ees were full of tears as she went on and on about how much she loved her new little piece of art. You see, I made the whole thing with black and white beads and while moving beads from one end of my desk to another, I found this little black pig bead and added it just for a touch of whimsy. She had lost her pet pig recently and was just burdened with life's sadness and she found it as some cosmic signal that I was reaching out to her. I had to say to myself, "Carrie, there are no accidents." She comforted my heart, this fellow seeker of beauty and the sweetness of her soul is something I have carried with me since.

A few weeks ago I had almost had enough of my son. He's a man child and full of energy that exhausts me. I was working at my desk into the evening, string along some beads and the phone rings and its my friend Craig. We don't spend much time together, we mostly check in with eachother and even when I saw his name appear on the caller ID I had this heart pang about not spending more time with him. He listened, shared his common sense calm wisdom and then entertained me while I finished my current project. I slept feeling loved.

We have been hit with snow snow and more snow this year. I hate snow. I hate the feeling of feeling uneasy about the weather and how it will affect how I move in the earth. The snow started to fall on a Saturday morning a week or two before Christmas. My son shoveled and then headed over the market to bring home some of the strangest mix of food. He lugged home cans of beets, some ribs, boxes of cereal and diet root beer. When he came home he announced that we were in for the evening and it was going to be him and I. I cooked for us, I made pots of tea and we pushed the sofa in front of the bay window to watch the snow snarling around as we watched bad tv and played dominos. His company was so wonderful, our conversation at one moment full of chatter and the next just calm content that we weren't out in the cold. We wrapped presents, talked and laughed. I won't forget for a long time how comforting the evening was and when I want to choke him and his never ending energy for everything insane I will think back to that magical Saturday.

And tonight my Best Friend Called. Yesterday I was a little overwhelmed with a new project and when she called I was just blue, fighting off the blues and believe me they were creeping in. I made an excuse, hung up quickly and thought putting my nose to the grindstone was the answer. Tonight, she called. I knew she would. "Feeling better today honey?" I am so loved. I thought for a brief moment.."Who deserves this kind of love?" Then I knew I did. I knew that we had this friendship forged in love and excitement, and hard work. The hard work never seems like work when I know she's looking over my shoulder, my biggest, loudest cheerleader. She told me she'd be here visiting in a few days and that was enough to get me through the evening, knowing soon she'd be on my sofa, our feet up, drinking tea and laughing about anything that gives us a tickle. She will tell me to get rid of the litte kitten, to plan on moving to DC, to stop letting life's details burden me. We will help our family celebrate the wedding of the season, shopping, having lunch, picking out dresses and all will be well with the world again. We will be in a crowd as we have been a million times and we will both find something funny that nobody else would understand and just one look will bring us to chuckling laughter. I know her and she knows me and she loves me any way. What more is there?

Love is around us all the time. It's found in the sweetness of smile, a nod from a stranger when I offer them a ride from the bus stop. I find love in the herb garden I grew this summer, in watching my son struggle through his Spanish Class. Love sits on your shoulder waiting for you to notice it. Love never ends, it's the only constant. Love's loss can shatter a life, break a heart into a thousand tiny pieces that scatter, heal and find their way back to wait to be broken all over again. Love always wins and always conquers evil. Love's hope comes in little heart shaped boxes where we store treasures nobody could begin to understand. When I am at an estate sale and I find a little trinket box that looks very worn and loved, I stop to wonder who stored a treasure here and who gave the woman this little box, a lover, a child, a Best Friend. I have a little carved wooden cat that I treasure, a tiny blue pen I hold near my heart, a glass vase from the first flowers my son ever sent me, and of course a tiny book with 40 reasons Suzy loves me. (She gave it to me for m 40th birthday.) And in the bottom of the little box on my desk where I work every day is a little altered art book made from canvas sent to me by one of the first people who ever purchased my art on Ebay. Mel, I miss you and will write soon.

Create something in this season of love. Create art, and live. Create our own book of love.

With Love,


You can find my art at: and email me at

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Change is about being uncomfortable

Isn't change always difficult because it's uncomfortable? Hi, I'm Carrie and today is the first day of my blog and I am here for a myriad of reasons. I am an artist and I think I have always been and like everyone else life gets in the way. You have a family to raise, you have bills to pay and things to do and what is the core part of you gets pushed aside to get things done. A few years ago I decided I just couldn't push it aside a moment longer. So this morning I sit here with you to once again open the door to a part of my life to strangers. Being an artist, the test is always that uncomfortable moment when you are putting "it" out there into the world and wondering how well this part of you, something you've created with your hands and your mind will be received into the world. And who else to share this spot with me than Van Gogh. His art made him so uncomfortable at times he cut off part of his ear, traveled around Paris with insane artists who tried to steal his soul. So today it's Vincent and I here to introduce you to a piece of my art.

When I started making art that I would share with the public, Ebay was my playground. I made little altered art books full of poetry, strange photos and found pieces of this and that. There wasn't a place I could travel where I wasn't looking for some foreign paper, some scrap of ribbon, something I could incorporate into a book. And when I decided to make art a full time living, buy a studio space, move on with my life I wanted my own web page and of course a blog. Everything I listed on Ebay had it's own little blog of my life because it doesn't seem right to share your art and not share some of your life. This is the next big bold move. Making my web page (you can find it at was this strange mix of joy and frustration.

You get too comfortable with your life, how you do things and I need to be forced into change. I don't embrace change, I don't find change a challenge. Change makes me sick a little, makes me wonder if doing anything is a good idea, wanting mostly to stand very very still and hope the world will just happen to me rather than me having to happen to anything else. Change makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little and wash it down with a little chicken soup, pretending I must be ill. It does appropriate that moving to my own web site would occur around Valentines Day. The bossy Republican type in my life convinces me that I like Valentines day more than Christmas, my birthday, oh hell all the holidays combined. I celebrate Valentines day every day loving the idea of living a more romantic life. I save every card, every note and once even refused flowers because the card read..."for a speedy recovery." For a speedy recovery? You can write that on a napkin and slide it under the door. But with flowers don't men understand that the card has to be spectacularly romantic, wonderful, profound, something you'll put in your wallet and pull it out a thousands times. A woman will put a tiny card written to send with flowers out of her wallet when she's at the airport waiting to board a flight. She will hold it in her hands and think about making love a little drunk after a party knowing this is what life is made of these little moments and waking up to smell roses next to your bed. So it fits that change, that uncomfortable ball in your gut of putting it out there would occur at Valentine's day, this is the Valentine I send to you, a welcoming to my life and to my thoughts and of course to my art. I create art from anything that will allow me into it's life.

I love to paint, glue things together, find little pieces of this and that and hope it will be a treasure to you. I want to know about what you create and who you are and welcome you to be a fellow adventurer. I make jewelry, one of a kind crazy pieces of jewelry that you won't find in a store. I make little boxes to hide your treasures. I make miniature little worlds you can carry on your wrist full of color and beads, and glass and life. I don't promise to post here every day, I only promise to share here when I have the energy and the faith that the world is ready for the next thought that I need to make into art and eventually share with you. If you are looking for me, you can always find me at You can email me at, you can find more of my art on searching for Summerpoet studios and if you would like to call me in the studio, you can reach me there at 708-422-4160.

Thanks! Carrie.